Clerk’s office design wins national award

July 16, 2003
Press Release

The Cook County Clerk’s election materials received a national design award in the American Institute of Graphic Arts’s (AIGA) annual juried competition, Cook County Clerk David Orr said.

To improve the election process, the Clerk’s office, working with Design for Democracy, a non-profit organization of graphic designers, streamlined and redesigned polling place posters and envelopes used by election judges. Judges use more than 20 envelopes during Election Day and after the votes are counted. The envelopes are used to carry voter records, store results and hold ballots and a variety of other election-related materials. Design for Democracy also expanded the Clerk’s election judge training manual, adding more graphics, diagrams and step-by-step procedures.

"We wanted the materials to be as straightforward and easy to understand as possible for voters and election judges," Orr said. "By graphically redesigning the signage and envelopes, they are more intuitive with better explanations and improved organization. This ultimately makes Election Day run more smoothly."

The election materials were was chosen for their emphasis on user interaction and the contribution to the overall Election Day experience, according to AIGA.

"As the leading national professional association of graphic designers, AIGA understands that good design can greatly improve communication between the government and its citizens," said Marcia Lausen, associate professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who oversaw the project. "The materials developed in collaboration with the Cook County Clerk’s office serve as excellent models for improvement that can be adapted for use by other states and counties."

The posters lead voters through the polling place, providing voting information and instruction. The envelopes, which were implemented in the March 2002 primary election, come in three sizes to help judges determine their use. They are also color-coded, which shows judges when to use them on Election Day.

As a design winner, the election materials will be published in "365: AIGA Year in Design," an internationally distributed annual publication, and will be featured in a digital gallery on AIGA’s website

The materials will be displayed at the AIGA National Design Center in New York City and will be part of